By Will Martin
You may recall that last week a red card was assessed to players JeVaughn Watson and Michael Harrington right before intermission for alleged fighting and taunting. Watson after the win over Portland was quick to say nothing happened.
Saturday night in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium lots of good things happened in the span of about ten minutes to catapult FC Dallas (4-0-1 13 points) to a 4-1 victory over interstate rival the Houston Dynamo before a capacity crowd of 22,202. There was quite a contingent of FC Dallas fans who made the trip south.
Michel would get the scoring started in the 31st minute when connecting low and to the left of Dynamo goalie Tally Hall for a 1-0 lead. Houston would then tie things up ten minutes later on a third straight corner kick by Brad Davis that would get lobbed towards the corner post and headed past Chris Seitz by Ricardo Clark for a 1-1 score. Credit that score also to JeVaughn Watson as he fouled Davis prior to the third kick.
It almost became a 2-1 FC Dallas lead in the 53rd minute when Michel plunked a free kick toward the back of the post for a waiting David Texeira. The Uruguayan’s shot attempt was denied on a wicked Tally Hall two handed save.
Not to be denied however JeVaughn Watson struck gold in minute 61 moments after an ejection to Houston’s David Horst on a sliding tackle on Fabian Castillo. Watson connected on a redirect after a great feed by Mauro Diaz.
Seven minutes later FC Dallas got on the board again on a corner kick that was intended for Watson…only to have it bounce off the back of Dynamo defender Giles Barnes for a 3-1 lead.
Minute 70 FC Dallas increased the lead to 4-1 when Mauro Diaz positioned Watson with a position placed into space. Tally Hall tried to get an angle on JeVaughn. Watson instead angled to the far end of the net for a 4-1 lead and subsequent final score. Derby Game and Howitzer-Advantage: FC Dallas!
A pensive Oscar Pareja was pensive, yet content with the win while keeping it all in perspective.
“A very important result and the effort especially in the second half for the team was outstanding. I liked the fact that we saw a team that was more mature tonight who is matching up with other teams like Houston who have a lot of experience in big events and we came out to their place and did very well so I liked a lot of things and they’re showing that they’re going in a good direction but this is just the start and we’re thinking about Seattle now.”
Coach Pareja also had nothing but positives about the play of JeVaughn Watson and surpassing his previous season high of two goals in one season (now with three.) And having the red card assessed last week nullified.
“A very special night for Je-Vaughn the way he’s working for his teammates and the work ethic that he’s showing us is great and when that happens the game will reward you and today was a good example. I liked it and I’m very happy for him and the team.
This is an honest team and we have an honest group. Very committed and hard working and we don’t brag about anything else but hard work and Je-Vaughn is one of those guys who does it all the time and he didn’t deserve the red card and for us it was important that he was part of the game. He proved how important he’s becoming for this team.”
Of course if you were to ask JeVaughn Watson to talk about the team you sense he was in the zone.
“I was in the zone from the start of the game but everyone is up to play this game. It’s a rivalry and everyone’s up. The 10 minutes of the game the ball started flowing to my side and I just kept running because the whole night I wasn’t doing a whole lot of running because I was doing more defending than attacking. In the second half coach said we should play on the right side some more so I just kept going and the ball just fell to me in the box. The first free kick from Mauro was a beautiful ball. The second from Michel… They said it’s an own goal. That’s ok but the other one was just a rolled through ball and I just tried my best to keep my composure and slotted it home.”
Goalie Chris Seitz with another solid game and what could very well have been a statement game against a hated rival.
“We came out in the first half and matched them in intensity. That’s always key when you’re on the road… Getting out there and showing that you’re not going to come in soft. Look, we reacted well in the second half, figured out what was going to work, exposed it and we got great goals… It was a complete performance and credit to the guys.
Yeah, of course. It’s a road game. We went into Kansas City and got a point and that started the belief. Now we come to Houston in a rivalry game, we came here and matched them and came out on top. For us, that’s what it is and now our focus turns to two home games, two good home games and we’ve got another test ahead of us next weekend.”
Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear was hoping for a better outcome with Houston (2-2-0 6 points).
“It was a weird one that’s for sure. I thought we played well and obviously the red card and the goals are a bit of a double sucker punch. They got some goals off of some set pieces and we ended up chasing the game. I thought we were really good for those 60 minutes and obviously the red card and the one man advantage really worked in their favor, so they took advantage of the situation while we walked off of the field very disappointed.
“It was a little bit of a slippery downhill slope after that red card and goal. I think we were riding pretty high and playing pretty well before that, Rico [Clark] has a great chance and I really thought we were playing well. Like I said to the guys in the locker room at halftime, we did some things tonight where I thought “wow we are looking very good” and the game changed and they took advantage of it.
I think we played better tonight attacking-wise than we did in Vancouver. We had some really good looks at goal, we were probably a little bit sharper than we were last week, but the feeling you get after walking off of the field is the same. You never like to lose no matter who it is and it sure does stink when you walk off the field knowing you had a good part of the game in your hands.”
“We’re getting beaten on restarts like in the last two games, and those are all things that we can easily fix and once we right the ship with that I think we’re good.” offered Dynamo forward Will Bruin.
Congratulations to the FC Dallas team sitting at 4-0-1 with 13 points. All alone in 1st place in the West. Best point total of any MLS team for the moment. April 12th the first of two visits for the Seattle Sounders (2-2-1) to Frisco. This also means a visit from Clint Dempsey and the return of Kenny Cooper. The man who scored a goal in the 90th minute of last years Derby Game 3/17/13 at Toyota Stadium. Where there’s DeAndre Yedlin there is a potential for fireworks.
The Howitzer comes home. FC Dallas comes home. The unbeaten streak at home shall be tested. Things are clicking on all cylinders for the Red For 90 group.
4/12 vs Seattle Sounders 7:30 p.m.